Estúdio Destra was founded by Kate Swift and Roger Metcalfe in 1993. Previously these artists worked under the name ‘Cynete Studio’ and displayed their work at Porches Pottery which was founded by Kate Swift’s father, the famous Irish artist, Patrick Swift.
Kate died of cancer in 2004 and since then the place fell into disrepair. Roger found it difficult to keep it well by himself.
So then came in Portuguese jeweller Catarina Lopes to develop her craft, restore the build and honour Kate’s memory. It was fixed up with the few resources available (mostly elbow grease). This involved cementing, painting and fixing that roof (never again!). We reopened on 23rd November 2013.
The Estúdio (Studio) is located in an ancient capital of the Algarve. The building was a ruin when they got it, 1993. It’s a fantastic old building, 800 years old and located in the ‘judaria’ (jewish quarter) of the town. It’s worth a visit if you like history and culture.
My mother was a tremendous character. And this strong (yet vulnerable) character was what made her an incredible artist. And an ‘undiscovered’ one at that. I’m going to uncover her tremendous talent for you here and at the studio in Silves.
I’ve learnt that it isn’t the best that get the accolades and the rewards. It’s the honey badgers… Those without so much talent, but stop at nothing to get what they want. My mother was far too honest to be a honey badger and the art world is full of them!
Alentejo blossom 50x75cm 1987
Field of wild oats in the Alentejo 50x75cm 1987
Alentejo spring blossom form the spring of 1987
To finance the restoration, framing and storage of Kate Swift’s painting we’re selling prints of these as they are not for sale.
The paintings may be loaned in cases where they will have be seen by the public.
Roger Metcalfe came to the Algarve from England by bicycle in the late 1970’s, slowly winding his way down through France and Spain. He’d originally set out for Turkey, but ended up here in Portugal.
He has been producing ceramics in the Algarve for over thirty years and has a lot of experience with Majollica.
Catarina Lopes embarked on her custom made jewellery career in the early autumn of 2013. Drawing on her experiences living in the Algarve and passion for arts and crafts she has created a wonderful collection of jewellery.
She works with several different techniques such as wire crochet, viking knit, fused glass and the most recent one resin. All the different techniques allow her to create unique pieces. Maybe one day she will choose only one but for now she is having to much fun experimenting with all of them. Her goal is to create pieces that will be treasure. Pieces for creative, determined and original women. Follow the evolution of her work and a beginning of a new career in her blog.
Estudio Destra is located in the centre of the historic town of Silves.
Largo D. Jerónimo Osório,
Phone us on: 00 351 282 442 933
Or mobile: 00 351 964673033
Silves has a train Station located 2km from the town, the time table can be found here: train times
Bus time table
View Estudio Destra on a larger map and link for directions